For ticketing information, updates, and the full lineup and schedule, check out americanamusic.org or the AmericanaFest app. And keep an eye on social media for information on other interesting events that aren’t officially part of the festival.
Picking events for the Thursday block of AmericanaFest is an unenviable task. Luckily, that also means you can’t really go wrong. From blues to bluegrass, there’s something for everyone – but the theme seems to celebrate the pioneering contributions and directions of black artists in particular.
Conference registrants can attend the panel Black Opry: Path to Joy at 4 p.m. at The Westin, exploring Holly G.’s collective, itinerant showcase and her impact on building community for Black country artists. If you only have a standard festival pass, set your sights on the Station Inn, where The Black Opry Review arrives on stage at 9 p.m. Past shows have been formatted as a writers’ round with a rotating cast of artists; this time there will be a group led by a non-binary artist Jessy DeSilva, who will have their own solo set at Saturday’s Queer Roots party at The Groove.
Kaia Kater, Leyla McCalla and Jake Blount will provide insight into their Afrofuturist world-building during their own panel, hosted by WNXP’s Jewel height and starting at noon in the Westin’s Vanderbilt III Conference Room. And you can hear all three performers on their own sets later: Blount plays at The Basement, Kater at City Winery’s Lounge and McCalla at Station Inn before The Black Opry Revue. The only downside is that they all happen at 8 p.m. Over at The Basement East, country veteran and color me the country host Rissi Palmer plays at 7 p.m., while Lilli Lewis brings his opera Americana to Analog at the Hutton Hotel at 10 p.m., and abraham alexanderThe bluesy funk of takes over from Exit/In at 11 p.m.
Ishkōdé Records will feature Indigenous voices at Dee’s from 1-4 p.m. Amanda Rheaume and Shoshona Kish, the label presents the first AmericanaFest showcase that puts Indigenous artists front and center. Rheaume, Aysanabee, Digging up roots and Evan Redsky will perform. Meanwhile, string-band fans should settle in for the long haul at the Station Inn – Willie Watson and the Po’ Ramblin’ Boys will play each of the sets after McCalla and the Black Opry, at 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. respectively. For other pickers and grinders, you can grab Molly Tuttle and Golden Highwayfollowing Palmer at The Basement East at 8 p.m. For a sweeter moment, Melissa Carper will set up shop at 6th & Peabody at 8 p.m., sending up his shrewd, skillfully crafted songs of yesteryear. Also at 8 p.m., discover traditional country with Erin Enderlinwho will put a tear in your beer at 3rd and Lindsley.
There’s rock galore too, and it starts early: go ahead with Mule Kick and Devious Planet’s Rock ‘n’ roll brunch at The Groove, featuring Michelle Malone, Andrew Leahey, The 40 acre mule and more from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Nicki Bluhm will travel back in time to the 70s at 8 p.m. on Exit/In. Expat in Nashville Cory Brananwhose charisma and virtuosity of the guitar always make the party, will be joined by the troubadours of Memphis Alexis Jade, Rodd Bland and others to InDo Nashville for the Pure Memphis Happy Hour from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Including Christone ‘Kingfish’ Ingram, Jake Blount and more
Including Miko Marks, Angel Olsen and more
Including Josh Rouse, Margo Cilker and more
For ticketing information, updates, and the full lineup and schedule, check out americanamusic.org or the AmericanaFest app. And keep an eye on social media…
Ahead of AmericanaFest, we chat with Raul Malo of the Mavericks, recap our favorite shows from the festival and more